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07 October 2011 @ 08:28 pm
X-Men Fic: The Path to His Door  
Written for varietypack100 Multi-Fandom Challenge
Emma DeMarais VarietyPack100 Prompt Table
Crossposted to erik_charles

Title: The Path to His Door
Pairing/Characters: Erik/Charles
Rating: PG13
Spoilers: XMFC
Summary: Prompts - Beginnings, Middles, Ends
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ

001. Beginnings

He's angry, amazed and probably in a bit of shock to be honest. It's all too much for one night: finding Shaw, fighting him, failing and then being plucked from the sea by some sort of guardian angel who is now busily making sure he's covered in warm dry towels and given hot tea even though he's just as soaking wet as Erik is.

His name is Charles Xavier and Erik can't believe he exists.

'You have your tricks, I have mine.'

In one brief moment a lifetime of solitude is broken, cracked, demolished. He is no longer different from everyone around him. He is but one of many, found by his own kind and taken in with love and acceptance.

He has felt Charles inside his mind and almost cried at the wonderful caring words and reassuring support he offers. These positive emotions feel foreign to Erik; at his age even his memories of his parents are fading. Love was never an option; revenge was all he lived for.

And now this slight pale man with an English accent keeps reassuring him he's not alone, radiating such joy at their meeting that it's almost as palpable as metal to Erik's touch.

He says it so often, with such fervor, that Erik finally begins to believe him.

He could have died tonight, instead he's been given a second chance at life: a new beginning.

002. Middles

They were never meant to be adversaries. This Erik firmly believes.

Charles and he want the same thing, only through completely incompatible means.

Charles is a hopeless pacifist and Erik? Erik is a child of the worst war the world has ever seen. He can't erase his past, the horrors he witnessed, the torture he endured or the price he paid any more than Charles can transcend his soft academic upbringing in a world of utmost privilege to truly understand Erik's perspective on humankind.

And yet when scarce common ground appears it is always to Charles that he returns, knowing that for this brief time they will be comrades again - at least until their diametrically opposed ideologies return them to their opposite corners again.

The Xavier mansion never seems to change; Erik knows the path to his door even if it's been years or is it a decade now?

Charles greets him, as always, with the same warmth and affection as before they parted.

Dreamer that he is, he still hopes one day Erik will let go of a struggle far more powerful to fight than a submarine and return to the fold.

Erik can't bear to disavow him of that notion. In truth, it might be more painful an idea for himself than to Charles.

They are no longer young men, but the fate of the world rests on their shoulders and they must not, will not fail.

Erik passes the chessboard and permits a brief fantasy of the two of them enjoying a game after it's all done.

He knows Charles hears the thought, with his helmet off as it is, and a grateful smile shows that his friend appreciates the sentiment even if they both know it won't happen.

003. Ends

How can someone so incredibly powerful become so tired?

Erik looks into the mirror and sees a shadow of the man of action he was when he was young and virile. It's not the gray hair or the wrinkles, it's in his eyes. The spark there has dimmed, the fight faded.

Not in Charles' eyes though. They're as bright as ever when he opens the door to Erik and suddenly Erik wants to fall to his knees and curse the heavens for taking away decades of his life in battle, decades he could have spent happily with Charles if his own pride and fury hadn't driven him so hard.

There is no more helmet, no more hiding. He offers himself as an open book to this simple pale old man in hopes of not being turned away. Every sin is revealed: his confession in hopes of forgiveness, acceptance.

Yet Charles, his Charles, knows no judgment. He takes his hand and leads him inside, almost like guiding a frightened child. Only they end up in front of the chessboard. It's an unspoken invitation yet one Erik is eternally happy to receive. It's like Charles' way of saying the past, all he's done, doesn't matter. He's home: for good.

They make tea in the mornings, play chess on rainy afternoons and in between they sometimes save the world a little. At night Erik sleeps better than he has his entire life. In his arms is the gift the universe gave him and in his head is a voice that reminds him that he'll never be alone again.

Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on October 8th, 2011 03:28 am (UTC)
Just a little something I tossed together this evening because I felt like writing.

Title inspired by The Long and Winding Road by the Beatles, only I already have a fic by that name in another fandom and I don't do repeats. (So says the woman with over 1000 fic to her name. LOL)

Story inspired by a recent devouring of all of luninosity's Erik/Charles fic (some of the best H/C I've enjoyed in *years*!), in particular Echoes, Silence, Patience, & Grace because I find the idea of Erik and Charles not getting together until they are old men both lovely and heartbreakingly sad.


Emma DeMarais
luninosity: satelliteluninosity on October 12th, 2011 04:51 pm (UTC)
Re: Confession
Oh, thank you ever so much! (compliments! my fic being recommended! I am flattered and happy!) *grin*

This was lovely, by the way. That last paragraph is fantastic; it's just how I imagine them. This They make tea in the mornings, play chess on rainy afternoons and in between they sometimes save the world a little is perfect for them--they put each other first, these days, finally, but they wouldn't be who they are if they stopped caring about the world, as well. <3
melissima: WCSWmelissima on October 8th, 2011 04:52 am (UTC)
Oh how lovely. I agree that having them finally reunite as old men is beautiful. So are rainy days with tea and chess. Brava, Emma, you've lit up the internet with wistful grace once again.

tea_and_triflestea_and_trifles on October 8th, 2011 05:28 am (UTC)
This is beautiful! You captured all the sad, inevitable emotions that Erik has to deal with because of his past, but once he's experienced the hope that Charles can inspire he can't ever return fully to the dark side, even though it takes the lovely idiot decades to accept that fact :-)
Poor Medea: Torso and Teapoor_medea on October 8th, 2011 12:25 pm (UTC)
ladygray99ladygray99 on October 9th, 2011 11:39 am (UTC)
This is beautiful and just flows.